PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Firefighters in Providence hosted an event Friday night aimed at raising money for a former colleague who was recently paralyzed.
Vincent D’Ambra, a former Providence firefighter, suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in a dirt biking accident in September 2018. D’Ambra is now paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors are unsure if he will ever walk again.
Due to his injury, D’Ambra was recently forced to retire from the Providence Fire Department, but his fellow firefighters have been there for him every step of the way.
“Vinny is a fellow brother,” Captain David Palumbo, who’s known D’Ambra for 30 years, said. “Everybody loves Vinny.”
In his honor, the Providence Fire Department hosted a fundraiser Friday night to raise money not only for D’Ambra’s recovery, but also to purchase him a wheel-chair accessible van.
The fundraiser was held at the Providence Firefighters Memorial Hall on Printery Street and included a raffle, live entertainment and a buffet.
Palumbo said everyone has been supportive of the fundraiser, including other fire departments and police departments statewide.
The day after his accident, D’Ambra posted a YouTube video called “Paralyzed and Positive.” In the video, he discusses how he is trying to look on the bright side despite his serious injury.
He said despite the prognosis given to him by doctors, he said he plans to eventually start walking again.
Watch the full video below:
D’Ambra’s fellow firefighters are also hopeful for his future.
“We’re hoping Vinny is someday going to walk again, that’s our motto, we’re Vinny strong,” he said.